I’m feeling so home sick at the moment. Being away from your friends and family is just as hard as I thought it would be. Being away from them when they have major events happening in their lives is even harder. I definitely miss the ease of arranging a quick catch up over coffee or dinner and I guess I just miss being around them and the simple things like eating dinner on my best friends couch or cooking for my sister.
I also massively miss my cat Tilly who mum, dad and my sister have been lovingly looking after for me. For a long time when I lived alone it was just Tilly and I and I don’t think that any place would feel like a proper home for me unless she was here with me too.
There are also the less important things that I miss like Canberra winters, my massive kitchen collection, my cook books, driving my ‘Grandma Car’ and easy access to good coffee.
Of course, Key misses his family and friends too and his dog who can’t sit still long enough for Key to see him properly on Skype :) Key also misses driving and riding his motorbike and is looking forward to driving a hire car on our brief visit back next month.
Of course there are trivial food items that we both miss and crave regularly. I would really like to be able to easily buy the Australian version of Cadbury’s chocolate that doesn’t have palm oil in it and when we realised that a certain golden arched establishment doesn’t sell pork, we both got instant sausage and egg muffin cravings.
I decided to try and make a copycat version of the sausage and egg muffin and I figured I may as well try and make homemade English muffins for them.
The flavour in the sausage patty is pretty close and the fluffy English muffin and egg with a runny yolk are even better than the original dirty-burger version.
Make sure your yeast activates. It should froth up and should smell a lot like beer. If it doesn’t activate, your milk may have been too hot or cold, or your yeast may have expired.
The dough should at least double after resting in a warm place for an hour.
Knocking back the dough releases the excess air. I never knock it back forcefully though, I just use my palm or fist to lightly push down on it.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and dust with semolina. The semolina will ensure the muffins don’t stick to the tray while proving or baking and the small amount of semolina that sticks to the muffins will give them that authentic English muffin look.
The muffins will rise and expand again after the 45 minute prove. Now they are ready to dry fry and bake.
Don’t add any oil to the pan. These definitely need a dry fry to get a nice golden crust. Finish them off in the oven for an authentic looking and tasting English muffin that is super tasty.
I made my muffins the day before and then quickly put together these copycat sausage and egg muffins on a Saturday morning. I used a fairly basic pork sausage with not too many other herbs and seasonings.
I highly recommend using freshly grated nutmeg. The flavour is far superior to pre-grated nutmeg in a jar. The whole nutmeg seeds keep for months and even as you grate some off each seed, the rest of it will stay fresh in an airtight container until the next time you need a little.
Of course you can use bought English muffins instead of homemade.
You can get all fancy and use a nice sliced cheese, but if you want something as close to the dirty-burger version as possible, you should buy that processed cheese that is individually wrapped. We used to call it plastic cheese as kids.
Shape the sausage patties so that they are roughly the same size as your English muffins.
Drain any excess fat off them while you toast your muffins and cook your eggs.
The best thing about this copycat version is that you can cook your eggs anyway you like. In my case, I cooked them with a runny yolk because both Key and I love eggs that way.
Come to Mama!
Homemade English Muffins – Adapted from a Jamie Oliver Magazine Recipe
Ingredients – Makes 3 to 4 muffins
- 2/3 cup of milk
- 1 tsp dried instant yeast
- ½ tsp fine white sugar
- 1¼ cup plus 1 tbs of plain flour. 2-4 tbs more will be required for the dusting and kneading process.
- 25g butter, melted
- pinch of fine salt
- semolina for dusting
- Pour the milk into a microwave safe container or mug and heat it in the microwave for around 20 seconds or until it is around 40°C.
- Stir in the yeast and the sugar and let sit for about 5 minutes or until it has frothed up and you can smell the yeast.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the milk and yeast mix into the butter, salt and the 1¼ cup portion of flour.
- If the dough is still very sticky, add the tablespoon of flour and continue stirring until the dough forms into a ball. Add small amounts of additional flour if required.
- On a floured surface and with floured hands, knead the dough for approximately 5 minutes. Work in small amounts of flour while kneading if the dough is too sticky. I probably worked in another 1-2 tbs during the kneading process.
- The dough is ready when it feels elastic and soft.
- Wipe out any excess flour in the mixing bowl and then lightly oil it with a little bit of olive oil and a paper towel.
- Shape the kneaded dough into a ball and then place it into the oiled mixing bowl.
- Cover it and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour. It should at least double in size.
- Once the dough has risen for an hour, gently knock the air out of it using your fist and then place it onto a bench or board that has been dusted with the semolina.
- Roll the dough out until it is about 1.5cm thick, then using a muffin sized cutter or large drinking glass, cut out circles.
- Place the circles on a tray that has been lined with baking paper and dusted with semolina.
- Once all of the dough circles are on the semolina dusted tray, cover loosely with a tea towel and let prove for 45 minutes. The muffins should slightly increase in size again.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and then carefully take the muffins off the tray they are resting on. Tip off any excess semolina from the tray and then place the muffins back on the tray on top of the baking paper.
- Heat a non stick frying pan over a medium to high heat then dry fry each side of the muffins until they are golden brown. This will take around 3 to 4 minutes each side.
- Place the muffins back on the lined tray and then finish cooking in the oven for 5 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped.
- Cool on a rack before eating them warm or let them completely cool.
- Muffins can be kept overnight in an airtight container to be toasted the next day but they won’t keep fresh for much longer than a day or so. They do freeze really well though.
To Make Sausage and Egg Muffins
Ingredients – Makes 2 Muffins
- 2 English muffins – homemade or store bought
- 2 eggs
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 230g pork sausages, which is approximately 2 thick pork sausages
- 2 slices of individually wrapped, processed yellow cheese
- Margarine or butter to spread on muffins
- Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins into a small mixing bowl. Add the freshly grated nutmeg and stir well or combine with your hands.
- Form the sausage mince into 2 patties that are not too thick and roughly the same diameter as your muffins.
- Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil over a medium heat. Fry the sausage patties on both sides until cooked through. Each side will need 4 to 5 minutes.
- Once cooked, set aside on a rack to drain any excess fat off.
- Wipe out any excess oil or fat in the frying pan and then cook the eggs in it. Break each egg into an oiled egg ring or the same cutter that you used to form the muffin shape. Cook the eggs to your liking. I did flip mine over briefly but still left the yolk runny as per my preference.
- While the eggs are cooking, cut the muffins in half and toast them in a toaster or under the grill.
- Once the eggs are cooked, assemble the muffins by spreading margarine or butter onto the muffin and then place the unwrapped processed cheese onto the bottom with the egg and sausage on top.